Whether you are creating a resume for the first time or updating an existing resume, you want to make sure you are putting your best foot forward. Several mistakes are commonly made and can cause headaches for the individuals reviewing your resume. Avoid the items below to increase your chances of getting in front of the hiring team and landing the job.
1. Missing Information
A mistake commonly seen is missing information on a resume. This includes contact information as well as employment and education details. To start, make sure that your phone number and email can be easily found on your resume (common practice is to feature these items toward the top, near your name). Additionally, make sure you aren’t leaving off any important sections that may show a recruiter why you’d be a good fit for their role. Your education and employment sections should paint a picture about your background and capture the dates (month and year) that you were employed. Including the major sections on your resume will give you a good starting point to create an effective resume.
2. Incorrect or Inconsistent Details
Just as it is important to make sure you aren’t missing any information on your resume, you’ll also want to ensure that the details you provide are accurate and consistent. Incorrect contact information can frustrate hiring teams and more importantly, make you miss out on potential job opportunities. Additionally, make sure that your resume and online profiles, such as LinkedIn, include consistent information. Having varying experience or incorrect dates on your resume can be confusing and hiring managers can become apprehensive about hiring you.
3. Spelling & Grammar Issues
You’ve heard it time and time again. Proper spelling and grammar on your resume is extremely important. Your resume is likely one of the first things a recruiter looks at when considering you for a job opportunity and is how they form their first impressions. Hiring teams will often come back to your resume throughout the hiring process to review your experience and responsibilities. Fortunately, this common mistake is easily avoidable by using online tools like Grammarly or asking trusted colleagues to review your resume before applying to jobs. Taking the extra time to make sure your resume is polished and professional will go a long way in your job search journey.
4. Length (Too Long or Short)
While resume length isn’t something that is a dealbreaker for most job seekers, there are times where it can hurt your chances of getting in front of the hiring team. Resumes that are too short often fail to include important details that help recruiters and hiring managers understand your responsibilities and experience. Resumes that are long often go into too much detail, risking the chance that you lose the hiring managers attention. So, what is the perfect middle-ground? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. While it is recommended you aim for your resume to be one to two pages, the length can depend on your experience, industry and overall career situation. Whether your resume is one page or four pages, capturing your experience as accurately and concisely as possible is most important.
5. Lack of Specifics
As you are forming concise bullet points to describe your experience, think about where you can be specific in your descriptions. If you managed a team, how many people did you manage? If you had a budget to work with, how much were you given? Having vague explanations can leave a recruiter wondering what your actual duties and responsibilities were. You can also utilize specifics to show off your accomplishments. For example, if you increased company sales, include the amount or percentage. Being as specific as possible is an excellent way to paint a picture for the hiring team considering you for a role.